Pets are like our family members and we cannot possibly leave them behind when going on a vacation. Having said that, travelling with a pet needs undivided attention, planning, patience and flexibility to accommodate them during the journey. While it all depends on the exact travel schedule, including your final destination and type of travel, there are some things which you can consider to make your journey more accommodating and comfortable with pets. Like, your stay, your road travel, your flight and the rest of your travelling experience. Holidaying with a pet is definitely an amazing bonding opportunity and an experience to cherish, only if you plan it right.
Here are few suggestions to make it a memorable trip together:
1. Even before you begin the trip; it is good to start taking your animal out for short car rides. It will make them used to the way of road trips. You can also notice their behaviour in the car and make some mental notes for the journey to be. Just make sure to exercise your pet before the journey.
2. Before your travel date, begin the travel-feeding schedule for your pet. Like, prepare them light meal 2-3 days before departure so that they can do the road journey in comfort without any fury.
3. Pack a pet’s travelling kit. Put in food, a bowl, a waste scoop, some plastic bags, grooming supplies, medicines, and a pillow or their favourite toy. Pack travel-friendly no spills bowl also.
4. It is better to pack the food supply for your pet from home than buying it on the road, or at the venue. Some pet manufacturers use ingredients which may or may not be of optimum quality. Therefore, it is always recommended to buy from your trusted store than on-journey.
5. Similarly, you need to be cautious of water feed to your pet. You don’t want to travel with the risk of water-borne infection, therefore, we recommend only bottled water feed. It means no tummy upsets for your pet too.
6. It is very important to carry pet medicines along in the journey. Depending on where you are headed, your pet may need a vaccination or injections for safety and good health. Always carry parasite prevention products to save him or her from fleas, ticks and other parasites, especially in a warm climate or in monsoons.
7. Before you begin the journey, talk to your veterinarian.Ask your veterinarian to make an official note of your pet’s vaccinations, any major illnesses and any medications to be carried along. You may need to attach a copy of pet’s medical history for air travel. Also, request a health certificate.
8. Carry a crate or carrier which is well-ventilated for safety and security of your pets. Space should be comfortable for them. Meaning, there should be enough space for them to stand, sit, rest and sleep or turn around in.
9. Setting your animals to lose or unrestrained in the car is not a good idea. It can distract you and can also injure them in the speeding car. It is advisable to restrain them by using a latch attached to the car seat. Seat belts will not help. Using dogs leash inside the car is also not recommended. There is a special latch hardware which should be used for
the purpose of travelling with a pet in the car.
10. Use a soft kennel in the hotel room to make your pet comfortable and safer at the same time. Before you let loose your pet in the room, make sure to check the room. There should be nothing left unattended by the hotel staff. Check under the bed to be sure that the housekeeper has not missed anything. There should be no stack left inside the room.
Thus, like you, your pets too need attention and care with co-fellows on the trip. It is your personal responsibility to take care of their every need and everyday needs when on a trip. It is better to be cautious and safe. A smart and secure approach is to plan everything in advance. You need their necessities, their grooming tools, food, containers, and the rest, along in the journey. Special care should be given to having your pet in front of you, as you tour the place. There should be nothing left to chance. Only careful planning will let you and your pet enjoy the time together.
The author is founder, Countryside Adventure Holidays